With more than a third of the Major League Soccer season completed, the Union are clearly playing their best soccer.
Facing a team they figure to battle for one of the six Eastern Conference playoff spots, the Union extended their unbeaten streak to four games with Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Chicago Fire before 14,805 at Talen Energy Stadium.
Now 3-0-1 in the past four games, the Union (5-5-3) are in seventh place in the East, one point behind New England.
Midfielder Borek Dockal was the best player on the field by a wide margin. Dockal had two assists and scored a goal on a penalty kick. He now shares the team goal-scoring lead with three and has a team-high six assists.
The Union appeared to receive some winning mojo from the NCAA champion Villanova basketball team, which was honored before the game.
A half of dominance finally paid off for the Union when Ilsinho scored after doing what he does best, breaking down a defender.
Actually it was multiple defenders. After taking a pass from Dockal, Ilsinho split Brandon Vincent and Bastian Schweinsteiger and fired from 12 yards out inside the far post for his third goal in the 45th minute.
"In my opinion, that was the key of the game," Dockal said of Ilsinho's goal.
Chicago (4-7-2) was playing an unconventional man-to-man defense in the first half and that had to switch after Ilsinho's goal.
"They needed to change the way they played and that was good for us," Dockal said. "… In the second half, there was more space."
Of course Ilsinho doesn't need much space with his array of one-on-one moves.
"We were looking for a situation like that one vs. one all first half," said Ilsinho, who left in the 69th minute with a hamstring cramp. "They closed our space and made it difficult in the first half. I was looking for that ball all 45 minutes and thank God I had that one chance in the last minute and I scored."
Before his goal, it appeared as if the Union's first-half dominance would be wasted. Two other times they had great scoring chances.
In the 20th minute, Alejandro Bedoya headed a Dockal free kick off the left post.
Chicago keeper Patrick McLain made an outstanding diving save on a Mark McKenzie header off a Dockal cross in the 30th minute. McKenzie would later exit the match with a right knee injury. After the game, coach Jim Curtin said McKenzie would have an MRI.
Dockal also set up the Union's second goal, sending a cross from just outside the box to Cory Burke, whose header beat McLain for his second goal of the season in the 51st minute.
Chicago got back in the game when an unmarked Alan Gordon tapped in a cross from Brandt Bronico in the 56th minute.
Chicago defender Kevin Ellis, covering an open goal in the 70th minute, blocked a shot by former Fire forward David Accam.
In the 82nd minute, Burke tipped a cross by Haris Medunjanin just wide as the Union continued applying pressure.